The vital question you often hear parents asking other parents…at what age do you start brushing your child’s teeth?
Advice to all parents is, as soon as teeth come through!
But health officials say people need to “act now to stop the rot”, as figures suggest more than one-in-ten three-year-olds in England have rotten teeth.
In new wide-ranging guidance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is urging local authorities to tackle a growing crisis in the state of people’s teeth in disadvantaged areas of England.
The advisory body is suggesting nurseries and primary schools supervise tooth-brushing in areas with a high level of child tooth decay.
Director of the centre for public health at Nice, Professor Mike Kelly:
“Many children have poor diets and poor mouth hygiene because there is misunderstanding about the importance of looking after children’s early milk teeth and gums.”
Once areas of benefit are identified by local authorities, NICE says free toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste would be handed out to parents and carers for use at school and at home.
He added: “They eat too much sugar and don’t clean their teeth with fluoride toothpaste. As a society we should help parents and carers give their children the best start in life and act now to stop the rot before it starts.”
So, all parents know the importance of brushing teeth, it is something we all learn from an early age. So why is it so hard to pass this knowledge on to our children?
Not brushing regularly, NHS advice is to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for about two minutes, can lead to tooth decay, can lead to further problems such as holes in the teeth, gum disease or even dental abscesses.
Dr Sandra White, director of dental public health at Public Health England, said: “Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children and young people in England, yet it is largely preventable.”
Written by: Reuters / Steve Marcus